Prominent Architectural Author Visits Delhi
How People Make Places and How Places Make People
SUNY Delhi’s Centennial Center at Sanford Hall was filled with students and faculty on April 4 to hear a thought-provoking and entertaining talk by visiting author and city planner Charles Euchner on the topic “How People Make Places and How Places Make People.” Euchner is an Associate Visiting Professor at the School of Art and Architecture at Columbia University, and has taught at Harvard, Yale, and Princeton. He has published a number of books on writing, history, and architecture.
In his talk, Euchner inspired students to ponder what makes a place beautiful. Most important, he said, was that the place needs an iconic center to remind its occupants of who they are – he pointed out the Bronco statue on the agora at SUNY Delhi as an example. Euchner emphasized that creating a beautiful place is hard work and the result of a combination of small, thoughtful choices. To achieve this successfully can inspire people for generations to come and make the difference between contentment and displeasure in an environment. Euchner suggested that we start with our own rooms, and make our own commuter drives into beautiful ones, even if it requires taking the longer, prettier route. "Every choice adds up," he said, "to whether you have had a beautiful life or not."
Architecture major Erik Duque found Euchner’s insights captivating. “He inspired me to focus on what matters to me as an individual, and to apply that to my work and view space from a different perspective.”
After the talk, many students stayed to speak to the author. The following morning, Charles Euchner visited Professor Kirby Olson's advanced composition class to discuss his writing process and to give students tips on some of their current writing assignments about places.
“I liked Euchner’s suggestion that we record our random thoughts in a notebook, whether they’re brilliant or pointless,” said architecture student Christopher Barran. “You’ll never know how brilliant you are until you write down your thoughts and start seeing the amazing visions of the future or the past that you may have.”
“The people at Delhi are smart and genuine,” Euchner commented on his visit to Delhi. “They are curious and eager to create something beautiful with their lives.”
Euchner's talk was made possible by a grant from the CADI Academic Initiatives program.